Cheeseburger Cheeseburger Cheeseburger! - RJ Wilner

Posted: 02/03/2019

Anyone recall the classic Akroyd/Belushi skit from Saturday Night Live back when SNL was....you know....funny.  The one where, no matter what a customer of the greasy spoon restaurant ordered to eat, they didn't have it. All they had was cheeseburgers. And if you were lucky, they might have chips and Pepsi. Up  to the counter comes a  customer who insists several times he wants eggs over lightly with sausage and toast. And each time the customer (Robert Klein) repeats his order, Belushi says they don't have and repeats 'Cheeseburger'. And about the 3rd time around of this back & forth, Belushi starts pointing at each customer in the restaurant and reporting what their meal consisted of..... 'Cheeseburger!...Cheeseburger....Cheeseburger!'

It seems I had a 'Cheeseburger!...Cheeseburger....Cheeseburger!' morning today. Let me explain...

One thing about being a landscape photographer that we all learn sooner or later is that we can be as prepared as we can possibly be...we can have a good camera, we can have the perfect lens attached for the scene at hand, we can select the correct aperture & shutter speed, we can dial in the perfect focus...etc., etc., etc. But if Mother Nature is feeling a little devious at that time, it doesn't matter what we order from her menu, there's a good chance 'cheeseburgers' will be the only option presented to us.

So it was this morning. When I initially kicked the Sandman to the curb and pinballed my way out to the living room, I peeked out the window to see a little fog surrounding the house. Not terribly thick, but potentially workable with a little luck. Had I been truly paying attention, I probably could have heard a faint 'Cheeseburger' sound blowing in the wind right off the bat. But my 15 watt brain wasn't using all 15 just yet. It saw nothing but fog and a few scattered clouds, and thought of nothing but potential photographic treasures to be captured.

Where to go do my treasure hunting? Hmmm..., the rather patchy fog made a trip to even a nearby state park probably not the best option. If it was patchy already, it could disappear altogether rather quickly. And then it came to me..., I haven't shot from the boat dock at our community's lake front in quite some time. Though the view from there looks predominantly westward and not normally what we would consider the best option for a sunrise shot, Mother Nature has been kind enough to put some pretty fantastic steaks on the menu for me at that location more than once in the past. 

So, as I pinball around the house a bit more, the brain cranks up to about 12 watts available, and I try to make the bedhead look something less than zombie apocalypse bad,  I'm thinking of the conditions I might find, or am hoping I might find, when I get to the lakefront. Maybe the few scattered clouds will multiply by the time I get there. In addition, with the recent couple week cold spell we'd experienced punctuated by a couple wickedly cold days to top it off late this last week, our lake was pretty solid ice on the shallow end. But as cold as it had been for some time, the last couple days offered a complete turn around. Friday got into the 50's(F) and Saturday topped the 60(F) mark. Some of that ice had to have melted, and perhaps would be sitting atop the remaining ice and capturing some nice reflections from the wonderful color that's sure to appear in the sky above. Do you hear the inevitable 'Cheeseburger' whisper wafting in the wind? I didn't. I was in full on fantasy mode about the show stopping unicorn of an image I was going to capture this morning.

I arrive at the lakefront approximately 5 minutes prior to official sunrise. The few scattered clouds that had been present earlier had disappeared entirely (<whisperModeOn> Cheeseburger! </whisperModeOff). But there was a decent, if not great, ribbon of mostly rose colored sky above the western horizon. Chalk one up for the good guys! But as my gaze wandered around the lake surface, there were no large reflecting puddles of melted ice sitting on its surface. Despite having reached 60+F yesterday and the overnight low only down in the 42-3F range, whatever melting had occurred must have run off. Maybe it didn't come close to happening at all the way I had envisioned (<whisperModeOn> Cheeseburger! </whisperModeOff). 

"Well, at least the patchy fog is still rather thick at the other, deeper, end of the lake even if it has thinned considerably at the end from which I'm shooting. And I have seen more than a couple similar occasions in the past where the fog at that end actually blossomed more fully for some time after sunrise" I thought hoping that MoNat would, before all was said and done for the morning, offer up at least one of my desired menu items. Alas, it was not to be. What you see for fog in the image above went virtually unchanged from the time I arrived until I decided to pack it in.  There would be no unicorns captured this morning.

And as I started to break down the gear and load it into the vehicle, I was transported back in time to the original SNL skit and Belushi shouting 'Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger', and realized Mother Nature must have been watching reruns on Netflix and probably giggling coyly at the fun she'd had poking holes in my hopes this am.

But what the hey, capturing a cheeseburger for this morning's outing wasn't all bad. It was certainly better than a MickeyD burger, but probably not quite as tasty as a Five Guys version either. And there were a few chips throw in with a bit of Pepsi as well.

And what am I complaining about...it's going to reach 60+(F) once again today. Burger grilling weather!

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